by Sarah Dopp
Your graphic and layout design is the face of your website. It directly reflects your company image. If it looks sloppy, you look sloppy; if it looks impressive, you look impressive; and so on.
$100 - $5,000
Smart Shopping Tips
You can save a substantial amount of money here if you think before you buy.
First, take an inventory of your existing company image. Do you already have some artwork for your business? Do you have a font, a color scheme, a logo, or a defined attitude when presenting yourself to the public? Do you need original artwork created, or do you simply need to turn your image into a website?
Next, take a look at some websites you like. Find some in a similar industry. Find some with the visual feel you're looking for. Develop an idea of what you want and don't want. If that idea is a little vague right now, that's okay. Just write as much down as possible.
Finally, you'll need to find a graphic designer who can work within your style and your budget. There are many out there, so search well. Your graphic designer should have a solid portfolio that matches your tastes. He/she must also be able to meet your needs. Will you need several concepts and drafts? Are you on a strict deadline? Can they work with your programmer directly?
Graphic designer rates vary from $20-$100 per hour. Most, however, can give you a lump-sum estimate for the project and tell you how many revisions that includes.
Choose experienced, knowledgeable designers who sell themselves well. If they impress you, they will make you look impressive.